Solar Energy Progress in Nevada May Be a Harbinger for Other States

first_imgSolar Energy Progress in Nevada May Be a Harbinger for Other States FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享High Country News: Near the end of 2005, Louise Helton had one of those life-changing moments that usually only happen in Hollywood movies. Friends had invited her to join Nevada movers and shakers in an ostentatiously decorated Las Vegas casino ballroom to hear former President Bill Clinton speak. He challenged the audience to diversify the state’s economy, and to do so in a very specific way. Adopting a Southern drawl, Helton recalls the words that inspired her: “And he said, ‘If I were y’all, y’all would be the Saudi Arabia of solar.’ ” Clinton’s pitch made sense to the 51-year-old Helton. With its abundant sunshine, Nevada was well positioned to become a clean energy leader. Besides, the state lacks its own coal or natural gas reserves, so it has to import those conventional fuels, thus benefiting other states’ economies instead of its own. “There is no better or cheaper resource than the sun that is shining down on the sunniest place in the West,” Helton says.Clinton’s words percolated away inside Helton for a few years. Then, in 2008, she took the leap. Using savings from the two decades she spent working with at-risk kids, she opened her own company, 1 Sun Solar Electric. She kept costs down by melding it with her life partner’s successful tile and stone company, and in 2009, they started attaching solar panels to roofs in Las Vegas. Her timing was unfortunate; the recession hit Las Vegas especially hard and the impacts lingered, but Helton was able to keep her small crew working and her business in the black. By the time Nevada’s economy bounced back in 2014, the cost of solar panels had plummeted. Helton’s company was ready to ride the wave. “We were making a very good living and supporting a crew of folks who were able to support their families,” she recalls.Her business relied on a state law that required the monopoly electricity provider, NV Energy, to pay customers for power generated by their solar panels. For each unit of energy provided to the grid, NV Energy would give them a free unit. This one-to-one swap, called net metering, kept solar customers’ bills low and reduced the time it took to recoup their upfront investments.Big companies that lease solar panels, such as SolarCity and Sunrun, swooped into Nevada, hiring hundreds of people. In 2015, a record 24,564 people applied to be solar customers with NV Energy, according to the company. But near the end of that year, the Public Utility Commission of Nevada, the state’s utility regulators, crushed the nascent solar boom by increasing fees for solar customers and slashing reimbursements for the power they feed into the grid. That fundamentally altered the economics of rooftop solar. “It was stunning,” Helton recalls. “That’s how we found ourselves upside-down and backwards and almost out of business.”The Nevada regulators’ order was the most extreme example of a nationwide effort by corporate utilities — panicked about losing market share and profits — to roll back net-metering policies. It’s backed by the deep pockets of fossil fuel industrialists like the Koch brothers, conservative lobbying groups like ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council, and the electricity industry’s own trade group, the Edison Electric Institute. But the Nevada regulators unexpectedly sparked a fierce resistance movement, comprised not only of environmentalists and clean-energy advocates, but also libertarians, small-business owners like Helton, and ordinary citizens who have installed rooftop panels or thought about doing so. It’s not just a battle between dirty and clean energy; it involves corporate profits, individual freedom and the appropriate role of government in incentivizing market shifts. And if the ultimate outcome in Nevada is any indication, the utilities have a tough fight ahead of them.Full article: Big Utilities Meet Their Match in Solar Scufflelast_img read more

Manchester United squad ‘baffled’ by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s decision before Manchester City clash

first_img 1 min. story Comment Manchester United squad ‘baffled’ by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s decision before Manchester City clash Manchester United trained at the Cliff on the morning of their defeat to Manchester City (Picture: Eamonn and James Clarke)Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s decision to make his side train at the club’s former training ground on the morning of their 2-0 defeat to Manchester City left members of the Manchester United squad ‘baffled’, can reveal.The Norwegian led a 20-man squad to the Cliff training ground on Wednesday morning for a light session ahead of their 8pm kick-off against Pep Guardiola’s side at Old Trafford.United trained at the Cliff during the early trophy-laden years of Sir Alex Ferguson’s reign and Solskjaer felt it would help inspire his side ahead of their clash against neighbours City.AdvertisementAdvertisementThe squad usually reside at the Lowry Hotel on the eve of matches but United stayed at Hilton Deansgate on Tuesday night and trained at the Cliff at around 10am.ADVERTISEMENT Advertisement Video Settings PLAY Solskjaer’s team was leaked three hours before kick-off (Picture: AFP)The Cliff is mainly used by United’s youth sides, though Casey Stoney recently revealed she hopes to move her Women’s team there for the start of next season.Solskjaer’s attempt to inspire his side failed as goals from Bernardo Silva and Leroy Sane in the second half at Old Trafford wrapped up a comfortable win for City.More: Manchester United FCRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starNew Manchester United signing Facundo Pellistri responds to Edinson Cavani praiseEx-Man Utd coach blasts Ed Woodward for two key transfer errorsThe only silver lining for Untied on a difficult night at the Theatre of Dreams was Arsenal’s defeat at Molineux to Wolves.The Red Devils face Chelsea at Old Trafford on Sunday with the Blues in control of their destiny going into the final three games of the campaign.MORE: Liverpool duo Mohamed Salah and Fabinho to train ahead of clash with Huddersfieldcenter_img Full Screen United still own the Cliff but haven’t used it for first team operations since 2000 (Copyright: Eamonn and James Clarke)Solskjaer said after the 4-0 defeat to Everton on Sunday that certain members of his squad needed a ‘reality check’ and he hoped the less glamorous surroundings of the Cliff would help restore some humility within the players.However, sources have told that members of the squad were ‘baffled’ by the decision and it’s relevance was lost on the majority of the players. About Connatix V67539 Solskjaer recounted his own stories of training at the Cliff (Picture: Eamonn and James Clarke)Solskjaer explained the move to his squad at the team hotel and recounted ‘old stories’ about his days at the training ground between 1996 and 2000.Ferguson opted to move from the iconic training ground to United’s current Carrington complex because he felt the club had outgrown the site and it was too open to the public.United’s starting XI against City was leaked almost three hours before kick-off and Solskjaer admitted training at the Cliff may have given away any selection surprises.‘It is not a big surprise. We were training at The Cliff, it is quite open there and the neighbours can see,’ said Solskjaer. Sean KearnsThursday 25 Apr 2019 1:24 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link380Shares Advertisementlast_img read more